You're on Week 1 of the 30-Day Gym-Free Fitness Challenge. To return to the main challenge page, click here.

Your week one plan is designed to ease you into your new routine. Each week consists of one yoga and meditation flow, two lower-body and core routines, two upper-body and core routines, and two cardio and flexibility routines. 

This week you can expect slightly less-intense routines along with a little more rest, which you'll need, because this exercise stuff gets tiring. 

Jump to day

Initial Assessment | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 

Today the goal is to do nothing more than an easy walk and a three-minute initial assessment followed by an easy stretch series to help you mentally prepare for the month of exercise you have before you.

Easy walk

Outside or inside, it's your call. Or the weather's call. Take a 10- to 20-minute walk just to get your blood flowing. You don't even have to push yourself -- the point here is to start developing a habit and get yourself a little warmed up before performing your initial assessment.

Do 10 minutes if you're feeling especially crappy, 20 minutes if you have a moderate amount of energy.

Initial assessment

The initial assessment determines a baseline score for lower-body, upper-body, and core strength that you can compare yourself to at the end of the challenge. All you need is a timer and somewhere you can record your scores (make a note in an app, or use old-school pen and paper).

For the first two exercises, squats and push-ups, you want to record how many you can do in 60 seconds. For the final exercise, plank, you want to see how long you can hold a plank. As soon as your form starts to suffer -- your back sways, you cheat by pushing your hips to the sky, or you sag your chest and head between your shoulders -- the time stops. 

Remember to keep track of these numbers, they're important for measuring how far you've come from the soft, hungover person you used to be! 

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

10-minute stretch series

You’re going to become very familiar with this stretch series over the next month. It targets all the major muscle groups, focusing primarily on safe, effective stretches that most people have done at some point in their lives. Loosen up before you start the serious workouts in the days and weeks to come.

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Triceps stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Shoulder stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Chest stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Quad stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Forward fold, 60 seconds

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Standing calf stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Seated hamstring stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Supine figure-4 stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Butterfly stretch, 60 seconds

This lower-body- and core-focused circuit is a good way to ease your way into more intense exercise. The whole routine takes roughly 30 minutes, including rest periods.

Four six-minute circuits

Using an interval timer app, set the timer to track six rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest; you'll do each of these exercises for 45 seconds, followed by a short rest. A single circuit takes six minutes. You’ll perform four total circuits, with a minute of rest between each circuit. 

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Single-leg deadlift (switch legs each circuit)

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Today's routine consists of three-exercise circuits. In every circuit, you'll perform each exercise for 60 seconds, moving immediately to the next exercise, rotating through the series three times without rest for a total of nine minutes of work. After finishing a single circuit, rest for one to two minutes, then proceed to the next circuit. The entire workout takes roughly 30 minutes.

Circuit #1

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets. After completing all three rounds, rest for one to two minutes before starting circuit #2.

Circuit #2

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets. After completing all three rounds, rest for one to two minutes before starting circuit #3.

Circuit #3

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets.

Consider today your "rest day" workout. It's important for you to still get up and get active -- you're creating a habit, after all -- but you have flexibility on what you do. Here are your options:

Option #1: 30-minute walk/jog circuit

Enjoy 30 total minutes of walking and jogging, alternating between two minutes of walking and one minute of jogging for the full 30 minutes. If you want to break this up into two 15-minute periods, or three 10-minute periods throughout your day, hey, it's your life.

Option #2: Home cardio circuit exercises

If you choose option #2, perform each exercise below for 60 seconds, immediately transitioning to the next one without rest. Perform four total rounds of the exercises to accumulate 20 minutes of cardio. You can do all four rounds consecutively, or you can break them up into two 10-minute periods. This option is slightly more intense than the walk/jog series detailed above, which is why it's shorter.

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Jog in place: just like it sounds, jog in place!

Post-cardio 10-minute stretch

Regardless of which option you choose, after you've completed your cardio routine, add this 10-minute stretch series designed to maintain flexibility and range of motion. Don't skip your stretch! Flexibility is one of the five components of fitness, and it's vital to long-term mobility and a pain-free lifestyle.

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Triceps stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Shoulder stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Chest stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Quad stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Forward fold, 60 seconds

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Standing calf stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Seated hamstring stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Supine figure-4 stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Butterfly stretch, 60 seconds

Today’s lower-body and core workout is a repeat of the routine from earlier this week. If you need an added challenge, use dumbbells to increase the resistance of the squats, lunges, and single-leg deadlifts. 

Four six-minute circuits

Using an interval timer app on your phone, set the timer to track six rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest; you'll do each of these exercises for 45 seconds, followed by a short rest. A single circuit takes six minutes. You'll perform four total circuits with a minute of rest between each circuit. 

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Today's workout is identical to the cardio, upper-body, and core workout from earlier in the week. You can make it harder by completely eliminating rest periods between circuits. Or, if you're feeling tired (it is your first week of serious workouts, after all), extend rest periods between circuits by a minute.

Circuit #1

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets. After completing all three rounds, rest for one to two minutes before starting circuit #2.

Circuit #2

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets. After completing all three rounds, rest for one to two minutes before starting circuit #3.

Circuit #3

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Complete these exercises three times through without rest between sets.

Today's another "rest day," with nothing more than 20 to 30 minutes of cardio and an easy 10-minute stretch. The suggested routine is the same as earlier in the week, so if you want to mix things up, try the option you didn't try the first time around.

Option #1: 30-minute walk/jog circuit.

Enjoy 30 total minutes of walking and jogging, alternating between two minutes of walking and one minute of jogging for the full 30 minutes.

Option #2: Cardio circuit exercises

If you choose option #2, perform each exercise below for 60 seconds, immediately transitioning to the next exercise without rest. Perform four total rounds of the exercises to accumulate 20 minutes of cardio. You can do all four rounds consecutively, or you can break them up into two 10-minute periods. These exercises, when performed without rest, are slightly more intense than the walk/jog series detailed above, which is why the workout is slightly shorter.

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Jog in place: just like it sounds, jog in place!

Post-cardio 10-minute stretch

It's time to get flexible.

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Triceps stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Shoulder stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Chest stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Quad stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Forward fold, 60 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Standing calf stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Seated hamstring stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Supine figure-4 stretch, 30 seconds per side

Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Butterfly stretch, 60 seconds

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